Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

knock back - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb [transitive] informal
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyknock back
he/she/itknocks back
present participleknocking back
past tenseknocked back
past participleknocked back
  1. 2
    knock someone back British to cause problems or delays for someone

    One or two problems have knocked us back a couple of weeks.

  2. 3
    British to refuse to accept someone or something

    He’s been knocked back by every girl in the school.

  3. 4
    knock someone back something British if something knocks you back a particular amount of money, you have to pay that amount of money for it

    How much did the repairs knock you back?

See also main entry: knock

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play